Not Good Enough?

White Daisy - not good enough On Monday I shared on my FB photography page that I missed the mark again. I submitted my portfolio to be accepted to the CM Click Pro Program. This was my second attempt. However my work was not good enough for the program. To say that I was discouraged is an understatement. I cried on and off all day. It took 13 months to have the guts to try again. And it took 6 months to put the body of work together.

I felt miserable because of the failure and second rejection. For me this program means that I can call myself a legit photographer. My friend and mentor, Jennifer Carr of Jennifer Carr Photography said something to me that will stick in my mind for years to come.

"I know you feel like that (validation) would come from CM, but the only person who can validate that is you. YOU need to believe in yourself like we all believe in you."

This past week I felt every emotion there is. I need to take Jennifer's advice to heart and really start to believe in my work. Maybe I should put on a sticky note that I am a legit photographer. It is hard to do that when you have been rejected twice to a program that is close to the heart. The difference between making it and not, is only 2 points! So close, yet so far.

Will I try again for a third time? At this time I do not know because the hurt is still too fresh. But then again, I have come too far and worked hard to give up on the goal. What I can say is this right now: I will not give up photography. I may not be good enough for this particular program, however I am still a good photographer. Along this journey I have discovered that I have a determination within me, that I did not know I had :) .

The encouragement and support that I received from the photography community was incredible. One of my photography friends sent me a link to this article by David duChemin (warning: little colorful language in the post). His words are right on. We will get hurt once we decide to put our work out there, however that should not deter us from sharing our work.

So, what is next for me personally? First up will be my gig as an alumni helper in Tiffany's workshop "The Art of Macro Photography". In October I will be attending Click Away in Seattle where I will be taking more workshops, connect with other photographers, and be inspired by some incredible artists like Caroline Jensen who will speak about "Nurturing Your Visual Voice".

Iris (TGTG)

Paint Phoenix 2016 (Lensbaby Edge 80)

This past weekend my husband and I went to the annual "Paint Phoenix" (2016) event. Unfortunately the weather (rather the light) was not very cooperative. The temps were in the 70's, however the sky was covered with clouds. After I took a couple of shots with my favorite 28mm lens and didn't like what I saw, I switched to my Lensbaby with the Edge 80 optic. Here are some of my favorite images from Saturday shot with the Edge 80: Painting---1-copy

Canon 6D - Edge 80 - SS 1/1000 - ISO 400


Canon 6D - Edge 80 - SS 1/400 - ISO 400


Canon 6D - Edge 80 - SS 1/2000 - ISO 400


Canon 6D - Edge 80 - SS 1/400 - ISO 400


Canon 6D - Edge 80 - SS 1/320 - ISO 400

The first photo in this collection has my first focus slice, and I was beside myself when I uploaded the photograph to my computer. You also might be wondering why I don't have any faces of the artist. I am very conscience regarding privacy.

Although I have had my Lensbaby for years, I started shooting with it only this past Fall. And to tell you the truth: I LOVE it. I know 'love' is a strong word, but that is the only word I can think of right now. Yes, it is challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is pure awesomeness.

Since I really enjoy photographing with it, I am looking for a couple of ladies who photograph with the Lensbaby to start a monthly blog circle. If you are interested, please leave a comment below so that I can contact you with details.

Thank you for stopping by today...Until next time - keep smiling :)

Iris (TGTG)

Capturing Life is My Passion

2015 has been a rough year, personally. In June, I lost my beloved mom. She was an anchor in my life; I could always count on her. However, photographically speaking, I made some strives. I took several on-line classes that have helped me to define who I am as a photographer. Below you will find some of my personal favorite shoots which include personal and portrait work. Capturing Life is My Passion!!!

I am looking forward to 2016 and to grow even more.

Thanks for stopping by,

Iris (TGTG)

Cherish Every Moment

Today would have been my mom's birthday. Even though I live 6,000 miles away from my home country (Germany), I always had a wonderful connection with my mom. As I was thinking about the times I visited her, I pulled some photographs from my 2012 visit. The below images are from our visit to my hometown, Bremerhaven. Bremerhaven's weather is mostly gray and overcast in the morning:


It was just the two of us, chatting and enjoying each others company. I remember my mom asking me if I really wanted to lug around my camera bag, and I said "absolutely". You see, these images may not be 100% technical correct, but they are memories of the times with my mom. And I cherish every moment I had with her.

What I miss most about my hometown? The fresh fish dishes you can get there (it's not an accident that Bremerhaven is call Fish-Town):


As photographers we always want to make the perfect shot. May it be the composition, the white-balance, the aperture, the ISO setting, or any other technical aspect of photography. With that being said, we often times leave the heart out of our photographs. The moments that count; the times we want to just remember.

David duChemin is a fantastic photographer, but also likes to share wisdom along the journey. The other day, David re-posted something on FB, that resonates with my heart:

"Study your craft, then let it get out of the way. More important, I think, that you breathe life as deeply as you’re able, making the odd beautiful photograph along the way, than that you walk through life so burdened by gear and expectation that you miss the wonder and the beauty your camera can only imperfectly see." ~ David duChemin - 'Awake Enough - October 2013"

Yes, understanding the craft, aka understanding the basics of photography and how your camera works is important. However, we ought not forget the imperfect images that tug on our heart strings. The images that help us to remember the ones close to our heart.

Thank you for stopping by today. Until next time, keep smiling and cherish every moment.

Iris <3 (TGTG)

Learning a Lot About Myself

I like to shoot photographs just for myself. Photographs that have a meaning and/or I would like to have in my home for one reason or another. As of late, I have had a really hard time being inspired. But this past week, I learned a lot about myself. I have signed up for couple of online photography classes through CM University. This past Monday, Photographing with Heart & Vision with the beautiful and talented Jodi Arego, started. What a week I have behind me! A lot of emotions have been released and I am reminded why I love photography so much. Not only do we photograph in this class, but we journal a lot.

The first thing we were to do was to pull some old photos from our archives. Believe me, I have a lot of them. I had a hard time narrowing them down. But one photograph stood out to me. It may not be much, but I like the shot of this particular cactus because of the location (right in front an Old Chapel in Apache Junction).


Believe it or not, but the above photograph gave me some inspiration. I love creating images with a great depth of field, so I purchased some flowers to photograph. I pulled out my 90mm Tamron Macro lens to shoot with some is the result:


For our first week's final image we were to take an image based on the emotions we experienced throughout the week. After much contemplation and thoughts going through my head and heart, I took the below image this afternoon:


I chose this composition in black and white to put the emphasis on the books/titles rather than the surroundings. These books represent what makes me, me. I enjoy thriller/suspense/murder mysteries, but also have a heart for Jesus. There, I said it. The book "Jesus Calling" I received from a precious photography friend who I met this year online through CM (thank you sweet Carrie).

I am looking forward to week two of "Photographing with Heart and Vision" and I know it will help me get back on track with my personal photography.

Thank you for stopping by. Until next time - keep smiling :)

Iris (TGTG)